Member Institution Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University

Teacher Advisory Board
BYU Certifies 105 physics teachers in 8 years


Duane B. Merrell
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

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Teacher Preparation Program Overview

BYU's recent decision to shift shared responsibility of secondary science education programs into areas of each specific discipline, BYU's College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences has taken on a greater role in preparing future junior high and high school teachers. To prepare teachers and to enhance the college's physical science teacher education program the College of Physical Science was able to hire a full time faculty member. This position was made available with the shift of a faculty position from the McKay School of Education. Duane Merrell, assistant teaching professor of physics and astronomy was brought in specifically to work in preparing these future secondary science educators. Merrell has 20 years of science teaching experience in Utah public schools. Merrell came to BYU after teaching the past 18 years at Emery High School in Castle Dale, Utah. During those 18 years he was recognized and served the students and teachers of the State of Utah. Merrell is a past Presidential Award winner in science, Governor's Medal of Honor awardee, past president of the Utah Science Teachers Association (2 Times) and Utah Science Teacher Board Member for 15 years. Merrell has taught Utah State Endorsement Courses for under-prepared science teachers for the past 12 years. Merrell is a member of the National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association of Physics Teachers. Merrell is also a Physics Teacher Resource Agent, PTRA and is active in his duties in this organization. Dr. Robert Beck Clark BYU Physics and Astronomy heads the physics education group at BYU and serves as undergraduate advisory to physics majors seeking teaching licensure.

Science disciplines at BYU graduate their fair share of teachers. In the school year 2005-2006 the physical science teaching program will graduate 22 teachers. The break down of those 22 teachers comes out Physics (10) Physical Science Composite (6) Earth Space Science (2) and Chemistry (4). With 32 physics students specializing in physics teaching, BYU is striving to encourage students to become science educators. All physical science teaching majors have very strong content programs. Physics students who chose the teaching option degrees only differs by approximately 3 classes from that of a physic major. With strong collaboration with the BYU McKay School of Education the College of Physical Science and Mathematics has created an advising program that focuses on getting the students who want to become teachers into the schools early. This introduction into the school is continuous from the beginning of the student's junior year thru graduation. Students take introduction to science teaching to enter the teacher preparation program. In the introduction class students have a minimum of 48 hours in the public schools supervised by both the college and public school teachers and partnerships that have been established.

2005-2006 17 physics certified teachers
2006-2007 16 physics certified teachers
2007-2008 12 physics certified teachers
2008-2009 11 physics certified teachers
2009-2010 12 physics certified teachers
2010-2011 13 physics certified teachers
2011-2012   9 physics certified teachers
2012-2013 14 physics certified teachers

2013-2014 18 physics certified teachers